IF I became a nun, what am I expected?


#1

I know you would have to make vows on chasity, poverty and obiedience, right? Could anyone who knows more stuff on this give me more an idea what each one means in more detail? I mean, I know what they mean and all but I don’t know all the details!

Also, how do I know which kind to be? Poor clare, carmelite, etc? What’s the difference and what do they do?


#2

Honestly, each order lives its vows differently. For example, the Jesuits’ vow of poverty means they don’t individually own anything- it’s all communal. But the Franciscans take it much more literally. Chastity always means no marriage and no sex, but some have strict rules about interaction with members of the opposite sex, and some don’t. Obedience varies too.

As far as knowing which one to join, I’d say get a good basic idea of a lot of orders, and then PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. This choice isn’t a weighing the options kind of thing. God has had this plan written on your heart since baptism. Only He can tell you where you will truly be happy.


#3

I don’t know how anyone could answer much better than that. But…

Keep praying for guidance in your vocation. Why don’t you consider getting a spiritual director?


#4

The most important thing in life is to find God’s perfect will and follow it. Just because you have a passionate love for God (a very good thing) doesn’t mean the only way to express that love is by becoming a nun. We are ALL supposed to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. And God needs wives and mothers who love Him passionately and are willing to partner with Gody husbands and raise their children to be disciples of Jesus. You can even be in full-time ministry without having to be a nun.

I’m not saying any of this to discourage you from becoming a nun, rather encouraging you to take your time and find God’s heart for you before making such a committment. Godly spouses and parents are just as important to God as nuns, priests, monks, etc. One should not become a nun unless your desire to serve God in that way so occupies your every thought that you have no interest whatsoever in the opposite sex because that would be a distraction from God’s call in your life.

David


#5

Go visit sisters nearby whose orders you think you might consider. If you are considering an order which does not have a house near you, write to their vocations directress and ask if it might be possible to come visit them. Most orders have some sort of arrangement for persons interested in that order to spend some time living in the community to see what it is like.

When you do visit, whether or not you think you may be interested in that order, be sure to also ask the vocations directress or any other sisters you may speak with, if she might recommend any other communities whose charisms might be a good match with yours. She might know of a better match for you that you had not been aware of.


#6

[quote=DavidB] One should not become a nun unless your desire to serve God in that way so occupies your every thought that you have no interest whatsoever in the opposite sex because that would be a distraction from God’s call in your life.

David
[/quote]

I respectfully disagree. People do not become sisters because they don’t like men, they do it because they love God more. In marriage, does a spouse get married when they have no interest whatsoever in anyone else? Attractions are natural- we were made to love the opposite sex. There is no formula for knowing your vocation, you just have to let God tell you.


#7

Paris, based only on your posts aand questions I would say you have a long way to go in understanding the Roman Catholic Church, it’s Theology and Catachism beforee you even have the slightest twinge of the thought of being a professed Nun.

Now prove me wrong.


#8

…new concept, visit a convent if convenient…

…if i were to speculate, i would say that if you adhere to the first two commandments you have fulfilled 98 percent of what a Nun is required to do…

probably the hardest part… sacrifice ever having a family in the traditional sence, that to me would be a tough pill to swallow…

i believe in babies… lots of 'em…:thumbsup:


#9

[quote=Exporter]Paris, based only on your posts aand questions I would say you have a long way to go in understanding the Roman Catholic Church, it’s Theology and Catachism beforee you even have the slightest twinge of the thought of being a professed Nun.

Now prove me wrong.
[/quote]

Yes, you’re right some…remember, nothing is impossible with God! Even if I’m not ready to become one yet, He could be giving me a little “pinch” to MAYBE THINK about it…He KNOWS my faith and He knows I love Him…I have enough trust in Him that He will lead me to as much knowledge He wants me to have.
:thumbsup:


#10

There are books that you can get on most of the different orders. The Sisters of Charity and the sisters of the Holy Cross are two orders who are really into hospitals, teaching grade schools, and high schools in the US. I would write or call up some of the orders to see if you could visit or talk to someone there.

Most have development offices and they may have some brochures on what their order is all about. Our KofC organization supports the two orders mentioned above as well as the Carmelites of Port Tobacco, MD which is a comtemplative order in southern Maryland.

It would be great if you have a true calling to become a nun. We need many more folks to consider the priesthood and clergy. Research and pray, God will let you know what He wants from you, God Bless and Christ’s Peace.

wc


#11

Paris,

Remember always that God had laid His plan for your life long before He set the foundation of the world. Do not be discouraged, but rather find joy in the fact that He will lead you if you only allow Him. God’s most ardent desire is to guide you along the path to holiness which, ultimately, is nothing more than perfect love of Him. We can certainly lose sight of our direction in life, after all the Lord never compromises His great gift of our reason and will, but even in these instances the gentle urgings of the Spirit remain.

Being a Sister is a beautiful vocation as is being a mother. To compare and contrast them in order to decide one’s destiny is necessary, but to do so in order to establish superlatives between them pays a disservice to both. Each, in its own way, is a unique expression of the Sublime Beauty of Christ in the heart of woman. Each brings new life to the Church. Saint Gianna and our own Blessed Mother exemplify the warmth, sanctity and perfection that is motherhood, while the lives of great Sisters such as St. Teresa and St. Catherine of Siena extol the heroic virtue of lives lived in complete union with the Divine Spouse.

You might very well hear the Still Small Voice drawing you toward the convent. Certainly you must endeavor to learn everything you can about the Religious Life and what it truly means to don the habit. But now is a time for discernment, the time for you to ensure that - through time, catechesis and study - you will be empowered and prepared to live virtuously the life you have chosen and that God has chosen for you.

Do not let you spirit be troubled. Take heart. Trust in Him. Ask for His guidance, pray earnestly that the road be illuminated before you. He will never abandon or mislead you, and His love is forever yours no matter the path you might take.

The peace of Christ be with you always.


#12

[quote=jp2fan]I respectfully disagree. People do not become sisters because they don’t like men, they do it because they love God more. In marriage, does a spouse get married when they have no interest whatsoever in anyone else? Attractions are natural- we were made to love the opposite sex. There is no formula for knowing your vocation, you just have to let God tell you.
[/quote]

I see your point; however, according to recent internal Catholic researchers, upwards of 75% (3 out of every 4) of Catholic clergy are or have been sexually active. This is not something that’s publically advertised because it’s quite embarassing, but it tells us something, either the majority of Catholic priests and nuns who make celibacy vows are easily led into sin OR they were not physically designed for celibacy and are struggling against their nature in a way they wer not intended by God to do.

Jesus taught us, “For there are eunuchs who have been so by birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 19:12) Jesus indicates that not everyone can accept this, that being a eunuch (celibate) is not something everyone is designed to accept. If we look at that along with the epistles that discuss married priests and bishops in the early church (celibacy wasn’t normative for the first few centuries), the picture seems pretty clear, only a select few are wired in such a way that celibacy is a lifestyle they can live with.

My point for Paris is that given the fact that so few nuns are able to live within their celibacy vows, she should make absolutely sure before making them.

David


#13

I’d like to see a citation for this study. It sounds like it was done by a non-Catholic, in order to slander the rule of celibacy. I think it is awfully pessimistic to say things like “so few nuns live up to their vow of celibacy.” I know plenty who do. Perhaps the statistic to which you refer has to do with sexual activity before taking vows. Even then, I find it a bit high. Can you back it up please?


#14

[quote=Paris Blues]I know you would have to make vows on chasity, poverty and obiedience, right? Could anyone who knows more stuff on this give me more an idea what each one means in more detail? I mean, I know what they mean and all but I don’t know all the details!

Also, how do I know which kind to be? Poor clare, carmelite, etc? What’s the difference and what do they do?
[/quote]

I was once a novice in a religious order so I hope I can help.


There are two different vows of poverty - solemn vows and simple vows. Solemn vows of poverty means you must give up everything before you take perpetual vows. You may not own anything.


Simple vows mean you may own things but you may not use them. Whatever you own - property, goods, stocks, bank accounts - is put into a patrimony. This patrimony is overseen by someone you appoint. You may not draw any money from stocks or bank account or use any property or goods. Basically, if you own it, you can’t use it. If you use it, you can’t own it.


Whether you take simple or solemn vows depends on the order you join. I was in an order that took simple vows. The Poor Clares take solemn vows like the Franciscans. The Jesuits take simple vows. Carmelites also take solemn vows.


Chastity and obedience mean just that - you must be chaste and obedient. Religious orders usually state in their constitutions that the will of God is accomplished through obedience to superiors. Turning your will over completely to another person isn’t easy, but it’s very pleasing to God.


Chastity is best accomplished through prayer. The more you pray, the better you are at obeying your superiors and the more you are detached from the things of this world, the easier it is to live chastity. My novice master told us we live chastity because we are chaste for Christ. We give up the rightful use of these faculties to Christ so we can live entirely for Him.


Different religious orders have different charisms. Poor Clares live poverty like their Franciscan counterparts. Carmelites are contemplatives and cloistered. Being cloistered means you have extremely limited contact with the outside world, sometimes none at all. There is a Carmelite Monastery in suburban Des Plaines that has the Tridentine Mass every first Saturday. The Carmelite nuns sing at the Mass behind a wall with some windows. We can’t see their faces, but we can see their habits as the go to receive communion. They receive communion without being seen by anyone except the priest.


I hope I have been some assistance. It takes too long to go into everything in detail, but this should give you an idea of what to consider when looking at a religious order. You’re in my prayers.


#15

[quote=DavidB]One should not become a nun unless your desire to serve God in that way so occupies your every thought that you have no interest whatsoever in the opposite sex because that would be a distraction from God’s call in your life.

David
[/quote]

Does that hold true for priests as well: only men who have “no interest whatsoever” in women should enroll in the seminary?

I respectfully submit that that attitude is precisely what the CC does not need at this time in history.


#16

[quote=Paris Blues]I know you would have to make vows on chasity, poverty and obiedience, right? Could anyone who knows more stuff on this give me more an idea what each one means in more detail? I mean, I know what they mean and all but I don’t know all the details!
[/font]
[/quote]

No sex, no money, no complaining. No problem! :thumbsup:


#17

I was at a youth retreat and they said something that may be able to help. It was on how to find and use your talents for God.

Think back to the last time you felt really good about doing something for someone else. What was it? Whatever it was it is probably where your God given talents need to be used.

So think of something that even now makes you smile when you think about it. If it was helping out at a food drive, maybe you need to concentrate on orders that feed the homeless. If it was reading or playing with children, maybe you should think about a teaching order. Maybe it was just bandaging up a cut or even something more serious, a healing or nursing order may be the answer.

I hope that helps.

May God Bless you and direct your path.


#18

[quote=RonWI]Does that hold true for priests as well: only men who have “no interest whatsoever” in women should enroll in the seminary?

I respectfully submit that that attitude is precisely what the CC does not need at this time in history.
[/quote]

I agree


#19

[quote=RonWI]Does that hold true for priests as well: only men who have “no interest whatsoever” in women should enroll in the seminary?

I respectfully submit that that attitude is precisely what the CC does not need at this time in history.
[/quote]

Well put, RonWI! I agree. :yup:


#20

[quote=MariaG]I was at a youth retreat and they said something that may be able to help. It was on how to find and use your talents for God.

Think back to the last time you felt really good about doing something for someone else. What was it? Whatever it was it is probably where your God given talents need to be used.

So think of something that even now makes you smile when you think about it. If it was helping out at a food drive, maybe you need to concentrate on orders that feed the homeless. If it was reading or playing with children, maybe you should think about a teaching order. Maybe it was just bandaging up a cut or even something more serious, a healing or nursing order may be the answer.

I hope that helps.

May God Bless you and direct your path.
[/quote]

The only talent I have is the gift of art (illustration). What can I do with that?


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